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From: KESHAVA PRASAD (103020.541_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sat Aug 02 1997 - 22:23:01 PDT
Salutations to Bhagavathothamas. At the outset, I would like to thank the people who have reacted to my last weeks remarks; whether favorably or unfavorably is immaterial. There is at the least one who has tried to defend me in the spirit of the first amendment to the United States constitution; I am grateful; one is better than none. The following response is to address the concerns of those who have reacted unfavorably for the most part. But more importantly, it is an attempt at putting some of my concerns in a perspective which could hopefully be understood and appreciated by at least a few of the members of this group. If it will pursuade some of you to probe more into the needs expressed and would come forward to do something about it, my time would be more than well spent. It is advantageous sometimes to be somewhat of an odd ball. One will become the focus of attention with little effort. I think that I have earned that position with my remarks, at least thats what it looks like considering all the kudos that I am receiving. Some people are upset that I made those remarks in the first place. Whether they were justified in their reaction to what I had to say will depend on the perspective from which one views the issues that have been thrown on the table. It will perhaps take a bit of an analysis of the points made on both sides of an issue raised which is more fundamental to the existence of a forum such as this than we are willing to admit, viz., the "purpose". Let us leave all the personalities out of this discussion for the sake of generalization of the analysis. Personalities always tend to muddy the waters and make us lose sight of the truth that we are all seeking in the deep ocean of knowledge that our Poorvacharyas have entrusted to us not only for assimilation by us but I believe for perpetuation in generations to come. Someone mentioned that the purpose of the group is stated at the very beginning of the daily postings. This is true. One of the elements of the stated purpose is to discuss issues that are of interest to Srivaishnavas. I am a Srivaishnava by birth (if I may make that claim by virtue of my Genealogy that I state during abhivadanas), in my beliefs and to some extent by practice as well. So I think that I at least qualify to be a participant in this forum and hence, I entertain an expectation that some of my interests would be respected, given credence to and would figure in a civilized discussion. Having made a bold move to state as I did in the foregoing, I must try now to make it clear what my interests are relative to this forum and what is it that I am interested to see happen on this forum. My aspirations are simple: I am not insensitive to the beauty and fervor of Alvar poetry or profound scholarship of Swamy Desikan. But I would like to see the teachings of our Poorvacharyas translate into our nityakarmas, i.e., how we conduct ourselves in this life, how we behave towards one another in various relationships because I think it is important for us to learn this first which will eventually lead us to our relationship with the Lord and not the other way around. Therefore, I am going to try to make at least some of you see the point I am making. I owe this to some of the youngsters that I am trying to convince about the value of learning about Srivaishnavism via this forum. By the way, these are not the fast food or MTV type of people as someone suggested. They are all my nephews and nieces, and children of near and distant cousins who are born and brought up in this country who have had good upbringing, have done very well academically, have a good understanding of the world around them. Unfortunately, they lack the closeness of our religion that we felt growing up and hence, cannot appreciate the inner meanings of the teachings of our Poorvacharyas as found in printed literature or as explored on this forum. Whether my expectations come to fruition is another matter. I am a believer in Lords words: " Karmany evaadhikaaras te Ma Phaleshu Kadachana. Maa karma-phala-hetur bhur maa te sango stv akarmani". My interpretation of these famous words as they appear in chapter 2 verse 47 of "Bhagavadgita", is: Though you have a goal in mind to achieve when you start out to perform an action, the success or failure of such an action is not entirely up to you or the level of effort that you put forth; though you are expected to do your best and hence, do not plan on being bound by the result entirely; have a contingency plan. Because you are expected to bring the consequences of your actions to a meaningful conclusion which encompasses your duty, your ability to perform that action and your propensity towards selflessness. Adiyen. Keshava Prasad.